Most of the marketers think that Instagram is a hard work. I was of the view that Pinterest was the hardest of the networks. But I figured that one out. So now, Instagram takes the lead as the hardest network. After having an account that was stagnant at 500 followers for almost a month, I finally decided to sit down, figure it out, and do some research to up my game.

And the fortune favours the braves; I went from 501 followers to 1000 followers in under TWO weeks. I would suggest not to use the spammy techniques to follow/unfollow, and I did not use any of those ultra-spammy “tools” to get followers.

How to Plan your Instagram.

Edit your photos

I would suggest that, don’t just use the Instagram filters (in fact, don’t use them at all). Use one or more good apps to edit and filter your photos. My recommendations are

a.  Canva is a great App to go for mobile (I use on IOS) and desktop. Easy to configure, prebuild templates for Instagram, add your Logos, fonts and much more.

b.  VSCO another great app, with cool filters and control to edit your pictures.

c.  Pixomatic Pro works like VSCO, but have more versatile filters.

d.  Werble a must app for Video enthusiast, with stunning filters visual effects. Transform your photos into a mesmerasing masterpieces.

e.  Followers + app to track your followers on Instagram, with paid edition you can also keep track of other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.

You can completely change your photo with professional editing. Being a professional photographer, I use all of these apps almost every day. For starters, all you need is play around enough, and you can get a good look at your photos.

Engage with the people that engage with you.

When people comment on your photos, make sure to comment back. Instagram loves engagement. And it may get you more followers.

Engage with others.

Engage in other people’s photos. Go down your feed, or look through a certain hashtag, and like and comment on other people’s photos. Don’t just leave a comment saying “Love it!” Leave something more substantive that shows that it’s actually you, not a spambot. This can get you more followers, and again, Instagram loves engagement.

Do your hashtag research.

Proper hashtags are 100% key on Instagram. You get up to 30, and I say use all 30 (though I only put a few in my caption and then the rest in the first comment).

Key is to avoid huge hashtags with millions of hits. You’ll just get buried. Normally I like hashtags with 300,000 or under, give or take. You stand a better chance of getting seen. Use a variety of different tags that describe your photo and your general topic area. I use #iamdigital for my brand.

Post consistently.

Don’t go days without posting. Active Pinterest users suggest posting 1-3 times per day. I’ve been posting more than that on some days. But don’t go crazy with it. You don’t need 20 posts a day. It’s not Twitter. I would suggest three posts per day if you are an active marketer, marketing for the brand assist.

Don’t follow too many people.

A word of advice, just don’t go crazy with the follows. It looks weird if you’ve got 500 followers and 5000 follows. I try to keep it within 100-ish. Unfollow people whose photos I don’t like.

Follow the right people.

Follow people in your niche, with good feeds that you want to look at. There will be plenty of these people. Don’t just follow everyone who comments on a photo. But do look at their profiles and see if they’re a good follow. I would suggest following some big brands, and bloggers big and small.

Craft a good profile.

Put a good profile together. Use a nice profile picture of your face. Describe what you do in your profile. And include a call to action to click on your link. You can change your link to be your latest blog post or website.

Figure out the best times to post.

All times are not created equally. Figure out the best time to post. The time which is suitable for your brand/Business. Iconosquare is a good app to use to measure engagement.

Tauseef Sarwar

Dublin based Digital Marketer & Visual Designer with team of dedicated ninjas, specializing in Social Media, fashion & stylised imagery. SemRush SEO Certified.

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